Sunday, May 8, 2011

Provo City Marathon

LeeAnne, Shelli (my mom), and me before the race

The Provo City Marathon...never heard of it? Don't worry I don't think anyone else has either (including runners, spectators,and aide station workers). Needless to say my experience running this was not a good one. It started off great with perfect early morning weather. I was excited to be at the start with my mom and LeeAnn. I thought that since there were very few marathon runners I might actually run a lot better. I felt really good and was super excited to have one more go at my marathon. That all changed once the race started.
Actually the first half was great. My half marathon time was 1:50. So I was maintaining around an 8:30 min. mile pace. I admired the beauty surrounding me as I descended down the canyon. The mountains were snow capped and the sound of the rushing river to my right kept my mind busy with nature. But there were no mile marks that were easy to see. I saw a pavement marking at mile 6 and 12, which was kinda driving me crazy. I had my garmin to let me know where I was, but still during a race it's nice to see the markings. During that first half the aid stations were tiny, just a little card table with dixie cups half full of water, manned by 2 or 3 people. I figured that was only temporary because we were on the canyon trail and that the stations would improve as we ran farther into the course. I was wrong.
Most of the time I was running alone. It's hard to run a marathon and hardly see any other runners. There were hardly any spectators to give you encouragement. I kept thinking to myself that this felt like a training run. A lonely training run that continued to get worse and worse with every mile. By mile 20 I was losing it. The aid stations were few and far between. They were supposed to be every 2 miles. When its 80 degrees and straight sun, and you hit a 2 mile mark, mentally you need that water station. One time it was about 3 miles till it came. I was finally with a few male runners at this point and all of us were dying for that station. When it finally came, we were greeted with dixie cups half full of water. Even when I grabbed 2 or 3 I was still thirsty. I continued to feel myself growing more dehydrated and weak by the mile. At mile 22 my friend LeAnnes husband had heard from my mom (she did the half) that there wasn't much water at the aid stations. So Dave was waiting there for me with a water bottle so cold I could see the condensation on it. Best site ever. I started crying when I took it from him. I drank some, poured water over my head and drank some more and continued to push on running. I slowed my pace quite a bit those last 4 miles and felt like giving up so many times.

Finally at mile 25 right before the last hill there was my sweet mom waiting for me. She had finished her half and greeted me with water and ran the last little bit with me, gave me some encouragement, agreed with me that this was the marathon from hell, and sent me on my way to finish that last mile. I love my mom, she really is one of my best friends and always supports me in whatever I want to do. Even if it's running another marathon.

As I crossed the finish line and saw that my time was 4:09 I had a few thoughts.My dad caught my famous dirty look face on camera. This is how I felt about this marathon.

But my these were my thoughts. First was that even though this is now my worst marathon time, I'm actually okay with it. I finished another marathon in really bad circumstances. I didn't give up when I really felt like quitting. And I think that to me is what a marathon is about. Pushing through the despair, the pain and finishing what I set out to do. It's been 13 months and 4 marathons for me, so for now I'll say goodbye to marathons. For now. :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

One More

It's been just about 2 weeks since Boston and I'm still not quite okay with my time. So what does this runner girl do? Sign up for one more for another try, of course. This Saturday my mom is running the Provo city half with a friend who is doing the marathon. As she's been talking about it, my mind entered the place I like to call my crazy runners mentality. In that place I've had many a conversations with myself justifying why running a back to back marathon is okay. Here's what I've come up with.
1. I'm still in pretty good running shape, meaning I don't have to do another 4 month vigorous training schedule to run this marathon. I ran 10 miles yesterday and did fine with it, besides the fact that it was April 30 and I was pounding through about 4inches of unplowed snow on the streets. Topping it off with slushy sprays of water and snow covering me head to foot every time a car passed me. Good times!
2. I want another chance to have a strong finish. As amazing of an experience that I had with Boston, I didn't finish how I would have liked too. That was the first marathon that caused me to hit the wall, and I didn't liket that. So I want to try it again to see if I can do better.
3. I just want to do it. Plain and simple. I love to run.
So there, I know some of you may be rolling your eyes thinking I'm nuts, and well, there may be some truth to that. But really there is nothing like crossing the finish line to a marathon. Running so hard for 26.2 miles and then crossing that line knowing that you have just completed a race that at so many times seems impossible to do.
Just one more...I'll let you know how it goes.